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Taking your learning forward

Ideas for taking your learning forward into practice.
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I suppose it’s changed the way I view teaching and learning. Before I think it was clear that I wanted students to become better citizens or be motivated to create change. I think I had a clear idea of what that looked like, what learning should take place in order to facilitate these outcomes. But now I think I view learning as a process. I can see students are going into the classroom with a variety of different motivations, different backgrounds, and different ideas. So whereas before, I maybe saw global citizenship as being an outcome or an end goal of education, now I value the process of learning more.
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I think ultimately, global learning challenges us as educators to be critical, open minded, and reflective, which are all traits that we look to instil in our learners. We can’t expect learners to become critical, open minded, and capable of seeing the value in others’ opinions if we ourselves as educators are not firstly critical, open minded, and appreciative of difference, and second if we do not integrate these skills and values into our teaching practise. So I think global learning has challenged me as an educator to improve.
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I think the pressures that we face as teachers to achieve academic success from both our schools, our students, their parents, it often seems like focusing solely on teaching content and transferring knowledge is the only way to achieve success. But for me, global learning has re-emphasised the importance of making content relevant to the global challenges we face and also developing the skills to address these challenges. I think this is the type of learning that will potentially lead the students to reflect on later in life on a more positive note. I think they might find it more rewarding much more so than maybe information that they’ve memorised just to achieve a good score on an exam.
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So overall, I think the global learning tapped into the reason that we all become teachers. We want to use education to make real change and to improve our students’ ability to succeed in the world. Global learning has ignited a fire and passion for teaching in me that reminded me of my first moments in this profession and my reason for entering into this profession, into education. Teaching can be tough as a profession. And I certainly was not envisaging my time spent with hours of mundane paperwork, administrative tasks, or engaging with sometimes single-minded parents or even colleagues. But certain experiences make up for any tedious moments.
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The Global Learning Programme provides a framework where teachers and students are potentially pushed beyond their comfort zones and entering new territory. Often, the most magical teaching moments happen when I let go of the need to control every single outcome, and I trust that whatever the topic will bring for us, we will grow from engaging in it. As I witness the children’s minds opening and expanding, I’m able to grow along with them. It’s one of the most precious teaching moments when we are privileged to connect and grow together. And children are so much better at this than we are.
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In a wider sense, hearing children as young as six critically engaging in important and sometimes uncomfortable issues such as social equality, climate change, makes me feel hopeful for the future. And I remember sometimes just looking at them in awe thinking, ‘Yes, you’ve got this. I think 100%, it’s really revitalised my love for teaching and the relationships that I have with my pupils. I think it’s allowed me to see education from beyond just my individual subject in a more cross-curricular way. It’s allowed me to critique the system of education, including exams and curriculum.
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And it’s allowed me to see opportunities for where I can improve my own practise but also where I think the direction of education needs to move in the future. I think it’s really been amazing for me to explore political and relevant debates about the world around us with my pupils. Things like multiculturalism and immigration and globalisation and equality and sustainability have really made my job as a teacher more relevant and more interesting.

As we’ve discussed in the course before, making changes to your educational practice can be both an exciting and an intimidating process. So, we thought it might be helpful at this point in the course to provide you with some inspiration in the form of other teachers reflecting on their own global education journeys and what this has meant for them professionally and personally. Watch the video to see whether their ideas and experiences might help you consider your own journey forward.

At the beginning of this week we also asked you to look at the Global Teacher Framework to identify areas where you feel more confident and areas where you might want more support. We suggest that you keep the matrix handy for future reference and return to it after some time to reflect on how you have moved forward and what continues to be challenging.

To bring the course to a close, in the next steps you will complete a short piece of writing and a peer review activity to help you reflect on your learning through the course.

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Global Education for Teachers

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